Hotel Chocolat’s Cocoa Juvenate Hand & Body Lotion

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This stuff has been my lotion obsession for the past year. At £17 for a 290mL bottle, it’s probably not the best habit for my pocketbook, but it just makes me so happy whenever I use it. Still less guilt-inducing than when I occasionally cave for a bottle of Molton Brown, I suppose.

I first ran across it when we were out in London last spring for a friend’s wedding. We stopped into Hotel Chocolat to get some gifts for family and friends and I was surprised to find that they had started making a bath and body product line. I was even more pleasantly surprised when, upon sampling, the lotion did not smell like anything food-related. I never liked overly sweet scents in my moisturizing products and was very puzzled during that brief spell a few years back when it seemed like everybody was making cupcake and dessert-scented body creams.

Anyway, I tried it out but didn’t want to commit to a purchase since it was still early in the trip and the stuff was a bit on the pricey side for lotion. I then spent a good portion of the rest of that day sniffing my wrist, because I was growing increasingly fond of the scent the longer it lasted. Which was for several hours, impressively enough. By the end of the day, I knew we absolutely had to go back and pick some up before we flew home.

How to describe the scent? It’s definitely citrusy, with a flash of something that’s similar to green tea and something a bit warm and spicy underneath. I’m not an experienced cosmetics reviewer, so excuse my lack of proper terminology. I just know that something about the combination reminded me of driving past flowering orange groves in the spring back home in SoCal. Tangy, rich and perfumed, without verging into cloying. Okay, yeah, the official text describes it as “an invigorating scent inspired by freshly cut cocoa pods with notes of bergamot, green tea, lime, exotic florals and warm sandalwood.” There ya go. I have no idea what a freshly cut cocoa pod smells like, but now I totally want to find out.

The marketing text also remarks that “organic West Indian cocoa butter, babussu & mango seed oil…ensure the skin remains nourished and supple.” I had to go look up babussu, since that was the first time I’ve seen it listed in a product. It’s a fancy variety of palm oil, turns out. Whether it’s the magical combination of oils, or just the fact that they’re using very good quality of oils (the company owns the actual plantations where they’re making the cocoa, after all), this lotion does soak in remarkably well and very fast. It also doesn’t leave any sort of greasy residue at all, which can be a problem with some of the more moisturizing stuff I’ve tried in the past. So what that amounts to is that I can slather this on liberally after a shower and go straight to the closet to put on my clothes a few minutes later without having to wait that customary 10 minutes or so in a towel for everything to soak in. I have rather dry skin which gets very irritable during the long, moisture-sucking Finnish winters, so this was absolutely perfect. Did I mention it kept my skin soft all day? My arms didn’t develop a single one of those angry red scaly spots all winter long. Truth in advertising. Go figure.

So now, to the sad part. I am almost out of my current bottle — you know, the point where the pump doesn’t work anymore and you have to unscrew the lid and slap the bottom a few times to get the remnants to dribble out? I went to the website to see about ordering more and found out that the new shipment wouldn’t be in until mid-July. Woe! I suppose my trusty Body Shop Almond Butter will just have to last until then. *sniffle*

 

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